Live at Peace With One Another
When I first got married, I’d get so uptight if Lanthy didn’t turn all the lights off at the house when she left. That was my pet peeve. I would give her my speech again and again, and every time say, “Lanthy, you’ve got to be sure and turn off all the lights.”
Well, sure enough, when I’d come home all the lights would be on! I would get so uptight and give her my same speech again and again. And understand, she didn’t do it on purpose; we just have different personalities and different strengths. After about five years of harping on that, I’m a slow learner; I realized I was bringing tension into the house by getting uptight. It finally dawned on me, and I thought to myself, “The, this is not a battle worth fighting. If it costs you an extra $10 a month in electricity, then that is well worth keeping the peace in your home.” The rewards were not big enough for the heartache it was causing me. It was worth the extra $10 to have peace in our home.
Scripture says if at all possible, live at peace with one another. Make every effort to keep the bond of peace. In our marriages, this is extremely important. Walking in peace means that sometimes we just have to let things go. Some things are not worth starting World War II over!
I know spouses who get so upset about the little things that they start looking outward at others thinking, “Maybe I should just go with them, with that person…they wouldn’t do this.”
But let me tell you, that’s a trick of the enemy. No one is perfect. We all make mistakes and get on each other’s nerves, or they do something that we can’t stand; but is it worth disrupting the peace by focusing on that? And drawing the negativity out?
You see, when we fight over little things, our energy is robbed and we slowly begin to allow a wedge to come between us. That’s when dangerous comparisons can begin, and we start thinking that we need something else. It’s like this giant snowball; it started out as something small, but escalated into something large, potentially breaking up the marriage.
I heard somebody say, “People will leave a marriage with somebody that has 80% of what they need because they find the other 20% in somebody else. But what they don’t realize is no one has it all. And if you leave the 80% to find the 20% that your spouse doesn’t have, you’ll soon realize that other person is lacking in 20% of something else.” You’re still going to have something to deal with. Someone else is still going to have some small things to look over that get on your nerves. I say this lightly, but if you can just make this small change in your thinking, you won’t be comparing anymore.
Think about it, is it really worth this much strife and division over the small things? Is it worth all the egg shells that each of you feel that you have to walk on and the strife brought into the home? Is it worth the snowball effect?
I’ve found it’s easy to start a fight, but it’s hard to end a fight. It’s easy to get offended and say things that we know we shouldn’t, but it’s hard to stop it. It’s hard to let it go. It’s much better to never even start it. That’s what it says in Proverbs 20:3, “Avoiding a fight is a mark of honor.” If you want God to honor you, if you want to enjoy your marriage, you need to be a peacemaker. Be the kind of spouse that will avoid an unnecessary fight, a fight that’s not going to produce any good rewards. Your home needs to be a place of peace. You and your spouse need to be in harmony. You are stronger together than you are apart. Not only that, your children need to see a good example. They’re going to treat their family the same way they see you treating each other.
Let me ask you a question: Are you fighting battles with your spouse that can be overlooked?
I’m not saying you will never disagree with one another, but if there are disagreements, make sure it’s at least something important and worthwhile. Don’t disagree over whether the lights are always left on or not or a small pet peeve.
I would encourage you to daily pray to God for self-control in your marriage – the kind of self-control that is patient and kind, even when irritated or frustrated. We all know what those small things are in our marriage. I’m asking that you make a commitment to your spouse and God to learn to overlook the small things in love and let go. Learn to not make a big deal out of things that are not a big deal. For me, I learned to let my pet peeve go; I wanted my house to be full of peace and not strife.
Let’s learn to celebrate what our spouse does right and focus on the good. Remember the reasons why you fell in love with that person! You’ll be amazed at how much difference it will make in your marriage when you learn to let the little things go.